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States at War
A recent Supreme Court Ruling has us worried about another round of border wars. Check out the latest state ranking.
It's FRIDAY! Thanks for spending some time reading Okay History. I hope your week has been more than just okay.
You may not have noticed, but recently the Supreme Court leaked a document that presumably would overturn a certain right that a certain segment of the population has had over the past 50 years.
If the leak proves accurate and said right is no more and instead becomes a state issue, well, buckle up. If this right is only protected in one state and not another, we could see a return of states not liking each other very much- which brings me to our next round of state rankings, the pioneers of the border wars, Missouri and Kansas.
Now please, don't just skip to the bottom to see where I have ranked them; you'll be able to figure that out quickly once I explain that these two states immediately hated each the moment they came into existence.
Missouri was birthed into existence from the Compromise of 1850 by our friend Henry Clay. It was populated with people who came out west from Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee, which explains why Missouri now plays conference college football games in the deep south. To no surprise then, Missouri became a slave state.
Kansas came to us after the Kansas-Nebraska bill was signed into law by President Franklin Pierce, creating the Kansas territory. Immediately, New Englanders swept down from the north to move into Kansas to prevent it from also becoming a slave state. People from Missouri had other intentions and moved into the territories as well.
To no one surprise, bloody battles between the two factions erupted. It's called Bleeding Kansas for some reason. Around 200 people died in the armed conflicts from 1854 to 1861, which resulted in a victory for the anti-slave advocates or Free-Staters, led by one person hero, John Brown, the Instrument of God, who delivered pro-slave people or Assholes, led by white devils, to their demise.
It was a preview of what was to come during the American War over the next five years.
Okay, let's fight over the next round of state rankings!
Founded: August 10, 281
Do I know the state capital off the top of my head? Springfield (Wrong. It's Jefferson City. Jefferson City? Isn't that a band?)
Have I been there? Yes.
Do I want to go back? I'd like to go to St. Louis; it's been a while.
Harry Truman. The 33rd president hails from Missouri. Truman was involved in everything, as he ended the Second World War with Japan by dropping nuclear bombs. He ushered in the Marshall Plan, fought the North Koreans, and gave us the line about where the buck stops.
I like Truman. It's the only thing I have in common with George W. Bush, who also liked Truman but for very different reasons.
Missouri has no official motto. The Show Me State thing that they slap on license plates is one of the things you immediately know when someone refers to Missouri and not say, what their stupid capital city is.
How is it not official? What exactly is the state assembly waiting for? Show Me what the problem is.
Josh Hawley. The Jesuit educated turned Evangelical Christian junior senator from the unofficial Show Me State is easily my most disliked senator, which is quite the accomplishment.
Just a list of things Josh has opposed in his political and presumably personal life:
The Affordable Care Act
The Presidential Election of 2020
The peaceful transition of that election
Aid to Ukraine
Hawley has yet to face any repercussions on any of these grievances to this day. Especially the last two.
He's no Truman.
Why did we rank it here?
The St. Louis Cardinals baseball club has won eleven World Series titles in its storied career. I think it may be the most victories for a National League club. I believe that is right. I know it's more than the Cincinnati Reds.
My Godmother lives in St. Louis. She's also my first cousin, not the very first one, just a first cousin.
Mostly we ranked it here so we could write about John Brown kicking their butts.
Founded: January 29, 1861
Do I know the state capital off the top of my head? Topeka?
Have I been there? No.
Do I want to go? Not really.
What's the Matter with Kansas? is a fantastic book written by real historian and political columnist Thomas Frank. Published in 2004, Frank described once populist state of Kansas had now twisted itself into a conservative hotbed despite its interests. Frank, born in Missouri, but grew up in Kansas, wrote this excellent piece in Harper's Ferry about how people use populism as a pejorative.
The book is almost twenty years old and is still relevant today.
Kansas' non-farm employment rank dropped from 25th in the country to 41st between 2009- 2019. That's quite a drop which makes you wonder – what non-farming jobs are there in Kansas?
Like what happened to all the non-farming jobs, and where did they go? Or did other states simply drop farming, increasing their non-farming jobs? This stat has been driving me crazy since I learned of it, and I'm not going to use it again because it upsets me.
A tragic flashflood hit Jacobs Creek, near a small town on Interstate 35, killing six people, including four children, over Labor Day weekend in 2003.
Rainstorms increased and broke the barriers that separated the cars from the creek, and seven vehicles were swept away. Unfortunately, the car carrying the children, their mother, and another person trying to rescue them didn't survive.
I have now ruined your day. I apologize.
Why did we rank it here?
The Plains states are just that – plain. Kansas has some good points. We can’t think of any, but here are a few random notes.
A buddy of mine who coaches our dominant beer softball team is from Kansas. He doesn't subscribe, so that knocks his home state down some notches.
Wichita is the largest city in Kansas and reminds me of the indoor soccer they had back when I was a kid. The Wichita Wings were a pretty good club, played from 1979 to 2001, but never won the title.
If your state's largest professional sports team is an indoor soccer team that never won a title, being ranked 35th is kind.
Life continues to get busier for me, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I know I keep promising more exciting projects, and here's another reminder, but trust me, I'm sure you will like what I have in store.
Until Monday, I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Let me know what you think of the rankings and where your states should land. Lots of states remain on the board. Don't let your beloved state get a low ranking, or you'll end up like PV, upset over South Carolina being ranked lower than Alabama.
I hope you are feeling better, PV.